FRENCH OPEN REVIEW

We’ve witnessed two weeks of intense and exhilarating tennis from tennis top stars who all gathered in Paris to compete for the second grand slam of the year. Over the course of two weeks the tournament lasted, We have seen upsets, Fairytale run and also some usual suspects stamping their authority. After two weeks of top action in both the female and male category, there were two deserving winners in Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep.
Rafael Nadal (King of Clay) continued his dominance on the red dirt of Paris, Claiming his 11th Roland Garros title defeating the man that have been dubbed “the prince of clay” Dominic Theim in straight sets. It should be recalled that Theim defeated Nadal at the Madrid masters and was also the only man to have defeated Nadal twice on clay in the last one year. However there was no repeat of such upset as Nadal swept aside the young Austrian in straight sets. Nadal’s 11th French Open title makes Nadal the only man to have won a Slam at the same tournament eleven times and in fairness it was hard to look past Nadal prior to the tournament having not been defeated at the French open since 2015 . His only blip in this year tournament came in the quarter finals against Diego Schwartzman where he had to surrender the first set to the Argentine before recovering to win the next three sets. His latest victory in Paris continues his legacy of being the undisputed king of clay.
In the women’s side of the draw, World No 1 Simona Halep finally won her first grand slam title defeating US open champion Sloane Stephens in three sets. Ironically all of Halep’s previous three final loss prior to her win have all come in three sets but none would’ve been more disappointing than her loss to Ostapenko last year also in Paris where she was leading 6-3, 3-0 before she crumbled. However it was a different scenario on Saturday as Halep had to show great mental strength to come back from a set and a break down to beat Sloane Stephens. She also had to beat the likes of Andrea Petkovic, two time Grand slam champion Angeliuqe Kerber and Former French open Champion Gabrine Muguruza which shows how much hard work Halep put in to win her first grand slam title. However, despite Halep’s win,it is important to state that the unpredictability in the women’s side continued at the French open with the likes of defending champion Ostapenko, Azarenka losing in the first round and pre tournament favorite and Rome champion Elina Svitolina suffering a fourth round exit too.
Nevertheless, there were some other talking points like Stanislas Wawrinka suffering a first round exit, thereby dropping more than 200 places in the rankings and which means he will need wildcards to enter future tournaments. However, Novak Djokovic who is also making a comeback appears to he getting his groove back, though he suffered a shock quarter final exit to Marco Ceechinato of Italy who was the underdog story of the tournament. The Italian has never won a match in the main draw of a grand slam before his fairytale run that included the defeat of Pablo Carreno Busta and Novak Djokovic before being stopped by Dominic Thiem in the semifinals. Another story that caught the eye was lucky loser Marco Trungelliti who had to drove 17 hours from Barcelona to France to play his first match against Australian Bernard Tomic which he won before suffering a second round exit to Marco Cecchinato
On the negative side, the Roland Garros organizers will have to find a way to make roofs available on the main courts. Some of the games in this year’s match had to be stopped because of rain and this can’t be happening in 2018. The French Open is the only grand slam out of the four Grand slam not to have a roof on the main courts.
Nevertheless, it has really been two weeks of great tennis and the next slam moves to the fresh green grass of the All England Club (Wimbledon) but till then enjoy the 250 and 500 tournaments.

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